Let’s face it - finding time for personal health and wellness is difficult for most adults. Whether you’re drowning in work, have family responsibilities, or even just settling into your couch to binge-watch a TV show, making time to get in exercise can be hard. There are simple solutions though – starting a new routine or getting back on track with a previous one is likely a mind-over-matter issue, and it can be easier than you think.
Here are 5 quick health and wellness tips that can get you back on your feet – literally.
1. Get outside
Ah, the great outdoors. Whether you are a city dweller in Toronto or Montréal or up at your cottage in the Kawarthas, you know that the simplest way to get moving is to, well, just get up and go. Walking, jogging, skipping, you name it – there are many modes of transportation that will go a long way to improve your fitness and overall health.
While we don’t all live next to a walking path or hiking trail, there are many options right outside your door. Park benches aren’t just for sitting - you can do a few step-ups, or even lunges around the perimeter of the park (because let’s face it, once you’re an adult, looking silly won’t be your primary concern). So put on your sneakers, throw on your headphones and get outside - if nothing else, the fresh air will do a world of good for just about anyone.
2. Hit the gym
A membership isn’t the only choice for most gyms, and you don’t need to sign away your life to belong. There are many options available, like class trials that allow you to try new things, monthly payment setups, or a pack of passes you can buy. This can also be the perfect excuse to try something new for you, like the crossfit gym down the street, or the dance class offered at the studio you take your kids to after school.
Finding a way to simplify your own journey may have more to do with trying new things than you think. The hiccup comes from the fear of commitment, but also the fear of trying something new and not being the best at it right away. But here’s the big adulting lesson: fail fast and learn what you like versus never trying at all.
3. Keep it simple
Be sure to start off slow when you’re planning to kick off a new routine, and set realistic timelines and expectations. Holding yourself to an unrealistic standard means getting frustrated and giving up - instead, adult like a pro and keep things simple and straightforward. Setting yourself up for health and wellness success can be as small as minor adjustments or additions to your normal routine. Little tweaks like reading a few pages of a book at bedtime or getting out for a walk before breakfast might require extra time management, but just like you tell your kids to pack their school backpack for the next day, adults should plan ahead the same way. Keep the changes small and you’ll be less likely to deviate from your goal.
4. Get your “you” time
We neglect our own mental health far too easily these days. When was the last time you set aside a few minutes or even a few hours to do exactly what you want to do? Not need to do - want to do. Perhaps it’s taking yourself to the movie, going for a drive in the country, or even just having a quiet cup of coffee at home. Prioritizing yourself can be simpler than you think especially when you make it a habit.
As adults, we tend to take on more than we need to, and we live in a world that encourages this behaviour. Instead, when you’re overwhelmed by the demands of others, take a step back and assess your situation, then decide what you can delegate or do away with. Your mental health and wellness should be a top priority to ensure you’re able to give what you can to those you care about.
5. Identify your support network
Sure, when your bestie accompanies you to the gym, it can make those first few visits much more enjoyable – and of course they’re there for you when you need to vent or laugh or cry. But how large is your support network in the real world? Some of us will chat with anyone - friend, neighbour, supermarket cashier - while others struggle to find a viable connection when it comes to emotional support. There can be certain times in your life where you might be more inclined to seek support from a non-biased individual or group. There are more options now than ever to simplify your support network, including virtual healthcare, traditional doctors’ visits, therapy sessions, and friend groups who meet online.
Improving your health and wellness routine - whether physical, mental, or emotional - can be simple, if you know to keep your actions and goals simple. Taking time to take care of yourself is the adult way to enhance your wellness today, tomorrow, and into the future.